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Earth Day 2024: 10 Facts to Know about the Occasion

Earth Day 2024_ 10 Facts to Know about the Occasion
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The year 2024 marks the 54th anniversary of Earth Day! Yes, it’s April 22 again, and people worldwide are mobilising to address some of the most urgent threats facing our environment as they observe the event. Once again, this starts with discussing why Earth Day is celebrated and highlights topics such as climate change, deforestation, and plastic pollution. 

For the unversed, Earth Day 2024 is celebrated to raise global awareness about environmental issues and promote actions to protect the planet.

Earth Day News and Other Interesting Facts

In honour of Earth Day, here are ten essential and interesting facts about the history of our celebration of Mother Earth. 

  • A Senator Proposed the Concept of Earth Day

Earth Day attributes its inception to Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin, United States senator. In January 1969, he launched a nationwide environmental campaign fuelled by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara that affected the U.S. environment. 

  • Environmental Catastrophes Prompted the Idea of Earth Day

Not one but multiple events led to the inception of the first Earth Day. This includes Rachel Carson’s book on the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment called ‘Silent Spring in 1962’ and the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. 

  • 20 Million+ People Participated in the First Earth Day

Not a few, but more than 20 million people reportedly participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The event is said to have shut down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan because of massive demonstrations and street clean-ups.

  • College Schedules Led to the Enrollment of Earth Day for April 22

As surprising as it sounds, the date for Earth Day, i.e., April 22, was dictated because of the schedules of a few college students in the United States. April 22, a weekday between spring break and final exams, proved to be the perfect, mild weather ideal for outdoor activities on that day.

  • Earth Day Led to the Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

A particular agency was created on December 2, 1970, directly responding to the first Earth Day. This is what is currently called the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). It aims to regulate different mechanisms that protect the environment.

  • Earth Day Went Global in the 90s

Earth Day did receive political alignment across regions in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet, this drive gained momentum only in the 1990s. This happened after environmental leaders organised a significant campaign worldwide to mobilise around 200 million people in 141 countries.

  • Earth Day Also Led to the Paris Agreement

This important climate accord was created thanks to Earth Day’s global inception. More than 190 signatories signed the treaty to reduce greenhouse emissions and combat climate change for a sustainable future.

  •  United Automobile Workers’ Contributed to Earth Day

One of the most significant contributors to the original Earth Day was the former head of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union. This person is said to have donated $2,000 in 1970, equivalent to more than $15,500 today.

  • Biggest Clean-up Event on Earth Day 2024

earthday.org has collaborated with Malaysian organisations to host the largest-ever clean-up history in the world. Around 100,000 volunteers will be cleaning up the beaches and forests of Penang Islands as a part of this drive.

  • Canopy Project’s Contribution on Earth Day

This project, founded by earthday.org in 2010, has planted millions of trees worldwide to combat deforestation. 

Final Thoughts

As the world gears up to celebrate Earth Day, remember that every action contributes to the collective effort to protect our planet. Everyone can make a difference and ensure a sustainable future for all generations.

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